The Princess of Wales has a life that some people could only dream of living after marrying into the Royal Family. But while we know her lavish royal life isn’t always easy as it involves duty and sacrifice, many might not know that Kate Middleton’s life before meeting Prince William also wasn’t quite so perfect.
It seems the 41-year-old actually had a very tough time at secondary school and even had to leave her £28,000 per year boarding school halfway through the term due to being “badly bullied”. This is according to her former school classmates who claim that after changing schools she confided in them about her treatment and that she was picked on for being “perfect”.
Kate was moved from the all-girls boarding school Downe House in Newbury to Marlborough College after bullying from fellow pupils left her “thin and pale” – although the headmistress of the school at the time has denied any knowledge of serious bullying. Unlike her peers, Kate lived at home instead of boarding as her parents’ house was nearby and this is said to have left her unable to properly connect with the other girls.
Jessica Hay, an old school friend from Marlborough College told the News of the World in 2010 how Kate “hated” Downe House. She said: “She hated it, absolutely hated it. Some of the girls there were horrible. She was picked on because she was perfect – well turned out and a lovely person. She was not the type to stick up for herself.”
Jessica went on to claim that Kate had confided in her about the bullying during late-night heart-to-hearts at her new school, saying: “She said that there was a group of girls that called her names and they stole her books and stuff – little things like that. They rounded up on her a bit because she was quite a soft and nice person… When she used to go to lunch she would sit down with people and they all used to get up and sit on another table.”
Another Marlborough College dormmate, Gemma Williamson, has spoken about Kate’s arrival at the school when she was 14, claiming she was much happier there. Gemma previously told the Daily Mail that Kate had been ‘pale and thin’ when she first got to the school, saying: “Apparently she had been bullied very badly and she certainly looked thin and pale. She had very little confidence.”
Despite these comments, the former headmistress of Downe House, Susan Cameron, denied any knowledge of serious bullying back then. Speaking to Katie Nicholls, for her book Kate: The Future Queen, she claimed: “She may well have felt like a fish out of water, or unhappily not in the right place.
“Certainly I have no knowledge of any serious bullying at all. But there’s what everyone calls bullying, and there’s actual, real, miserable bullying where someone had a dreadful time. That certainly didn’t happen. Yes, there would be teasing. It’s all a part of the normal competition of growing up, of establishing a pecking order.”
Kate has come a long way since her school days and isn’t afraid to tackle serious topics such as bullying and in her work as a senior royal, she has even selected anti-bullying charities as a cause that ‘resonates’ with her and Prince William. Around the time of their royal wedding, the couple shared a list of charities that well-wishers could donate to instead of sending them gifts and the list included the Beatbullying charity.